My mother always told me that I could be anything that I wanted. She always told me that if I put my mind to it, it could be done. If I wanted to be a doctor, or a lawyer, a judge, or an astronaut, I could very much accomplish those things! However, if we are honest, even though our parents said this, their belief in it was not always present. Not because they thought that their children were incapable, but because the reality was that black and brown faces were scarce in those prominent careers. To find those who looked like us in various positions in medicine or in the justice system was and still is something you have to go looking for because reality is we are outnumbered and circumstances do not make it easy for us to step foot in the door.
So, when mom or dad told you " You can be anything you want to be" they were words laced and doubt but seasoned with hope because they knew the world we lived in. They knew that America would make it hard, they knew that the inner city communities and school systems didn't have all of the tools to equip you with the skills to make this a tangible goal. However, they yet and still remained hopeful.
They remained hopeful because, regardless of realities, they had seen others beat the odds. They read the stories of Madam CJ Walker and Thurgood Marshall. They watched trail blazers like Martin Luther King, Mae Jemison, and Ben Carson show every little black girl and boy that they had the ability to be the anomaly! So, they didn't stop telling us the sky was the limit. They never ceased to encourage our wildest dreams and fan the flames of our outlandish fantasies, because they knew that the tides could always turn in our favor.
And I must say, I am extremely glad they did. Why? Because that type of thinking is why we can look in our history books and see Barack Obama as our 44th President. Thinking like that is the reason that I am able to write that today January 22, 2021, Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America, is a black women!
To some this may be unimportant to some, but to me, a Black Women, it is exhilarating. It's exhilarating because even though I hoped it to be possible, I doubted I would ever see it in my life time. I wasn't sure I would be able to tell my nieces or my own children that this was something that they could do because it had NEVER been done! But today, I can say without a doubt in my mind that it is possible, that this goal is realistic, and that any little black girl can aspire to be one of the leaders of this free world.
This is a win for us as Black People and this is a win for us as Black Women and I am so honored to be alive in this moment. It is amazing that I will be able to tell my children that I lived through this time in history. They won't have to read it in their history books because they will be able to get a real account from me! I am overwhelmed with so many emotions in this moment because in a period of civil unrest and racial divide, we can celebrate this moment with all joy!
We can celebrate without fear. We can celebrate with overwhelming hope because this has been one of the moments we have been waiting for. This moment used to be an outlandish fantasy. This used to be the thing our parents recited to us with false hope. But now, every parent can tell their children, with all confidence, that this is possible!
No doubt in their minds, because now, we have representation. Now, in this arena little black girls have something tangible to lean on and to hope in.
No longer do we have to say you could be the first. Now, we can tell our nieces, and cousins, daughters, and friends that you can be the next!